15th Annual Symposium of the Social History of Military Technology

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    Bart Hacker

    15th Annual Symposium of the Social History of Military Technology
    International Committee for the History of Technology
    Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 13–18 July 2020

    We seek proposals for papers to be presented in the 15th Annual Symposium of the Social History of Military Technology (15SSHMT), scheduled as part of the program for the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC), meeting at Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 13–18 July 2020. ICOHTEC has selected the general theme of A History of Technology for an Age of Crisis. In submitting a proposal for 15SSHMT, you are encouraged, but not required, to address the ICOHTEC theme and subthemes. General information about lodging, transportation, travel grants, and other matters will be posted on the conference website: http://www.icohtec.org/w-annual-meeting/eindhoven-2020/
    The Symposium of the Social History of Military Technology, a regular part of the ICOHTEC annual meeting since 2005, strives to move beyond the narrow material focus that the history of military technology often assumes among fans, antiquarians, and many historians. As commonly practiced, the history of military technology centers on weaponry, warships, fortifications, or other physical manifestations of warfare, stressing their making, workings, or usage. Historians have also tended to assume a strictly utilitarian and rational basis for military technological invention and innovation. However necessary they may be, such approaches largely ignore some very important questions. What are the contexts of social values, attitudes, and interests, non-military as well as military, that shape and support (or oppose) these technologies? How do the social order and military technology reciprocally interact? Or, more generally: How do social and cultural environments within the military itself or in the larger society affect military technological change? And the indispensable corollary: How does changing military technology affect other aspects of society and culture? In brief, this symposium will address military technology as both agent and object of social change, taking a very broad view that encompasses not only the production, distribution, use, and replacement of weapons and weapon systems, but also communications, logistics, medicine, and other technologies of military relevance, as well as sciences of military interest.
    We seek papers about: (1) representations of weapons as well as weapons themselves, about ideas as well as hardware, about organization as well as materiel; (2) ways in which social class, race, gender, culture, economics, politics, or other extra-military factors have influenced and been influenced by the invention, R&D, diffusion, or use of weapons or other military technologies; (3) the roles that military technologies play in shaping and reshaping the relationships of soldiers to other soldiers; soldiers to military, political, and social institutions; and military institutions to other social institutions, most notably political and economic; and/or (4) historiographical or museological topics that discuss how military technology has been analyzed, interpreted, and understood in other fields, other cultures, and other times. Pre-modern and non-Western topics are particularly welcome.
    All proposals must be submitted in English. Although papers may be presented in English, French, German, Spanish, or Russian, ICOHTEC does not provide simultaneous translation. Proposals must include a short descriptive title of the paper, an abstract (maximum 300 words), and a short CV (maximum 1 page).
    (1) Abstracts are strictly limited to no more than 300 words. They should include a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the sources, and a summary of the major conclusions. Please do not include notes or bibliography.
    (2) Your CV must be no longer than 1 page, It should include your educational and professional employment histories, notice of significant publications and/or presentations. You may include other relevant information in the CV, as long as you do not exceed the 1-page limit. Be sure to include your name and email address, and to specify your present institutional affiliation (or independent status).
    Do not submit your paper proposal to ICOHTEC. Bart Hacker and Ciro Paoletti are organizing the symposium. Send your proposal to Bart Hacker at: <barthacker60@gmail.com>, or hackerb@si.edu no later than 2 January 2019, but earlier is better. Bart and Ciro will assemble and submit the complete symposium. Please feel free to distribute this CFP to anyone you believe may be interested and qualified.

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